Swedish probe into Nobel corruption to close: prosecutor

August 7, 2009
Nobel Medals

Sweden is to close its investigation into allegations of corruption at the heart of several of the prestigious Nobel prize science committees, a prosecutor announced Friday.

"The preliminary investigation concerning the three members of the Nobel committees suspected of corruption... is going to be closed," Nils-Eric Schultz, the prosecutor heading the probe, said in a statement.

"The possibility of a single member of the Committee being able to influence the final choice of a laureate in a decisive way is practically nil," he added.

Schultz, a special corruption prosecutor, had announced the investigation last December, after members of the medicine, physics and chemistry committees visited China at the expense of the Chinese authorities.

Schultz stressed that invitation had not been to any individual committee members but to Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), to which three of the professors concerned had links.

The Chinese authorities who had issued the invitation could not therefore have intended to corrupt or influence members of the Nobel Committee, Schultz concluded.

The Nobel Prize for Medicine is awarded by the Karolinska Institute, while the physics and chemistry prizes are attributed by different committees from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

No Chinese citizen has won a for the past three years.

(c) 2009 AFP

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